Bangkok’s cultural scene never fails to impress us with its new talents and thought-provoking arts. The city has become a hot haven for dynamic up-and-coming artists, welcoming innovative ideas and talents with open arms. Dedicated to all these creatives in town, this series explores the journey and the edgy personalities of some of the most notable rising stars in the country.
He went from Lover Boy to famous boy. We went from Hello, Anxiety to hello, Phum Viphurit.
In this feature of our #NoFilter series, we’re pivoting on world-famous all-around indie heartthrob Phum Viphurit. You may know him as the man behind the 2018 hit single Lover Boy. Or, if like us, alternative indie is your go-to genre, you may know him as the man that’s on your Spotify homepage. Neo-soul is his musical vibe.
Although Phum’s musical journey began when he put pen to paper at the age of 17, his fondness for music began way before. Ever since he started writing his own music, the charming songbird has been hitting all the right notes. He propelled to international fame back in 2018 and has not been tuned out since. He may be Softly Spoken, but people sure Adore him.
When he’s not composing groovy music or tugging on all kinds of heartstrings, the songbird spends time in the gaming world and embraces his inner skater boy.
Here, we sat down with the Thai-born New Zealand-raised singer-songwriter to chat about his journey as a musician, the advice he has for aspiring artists, and more.
[All images via @phumviphurit/Instagram]
Describe yourself in three words.
Patient, curious, and content.
What do you like about singing? How did you get into it?
Singing is literally the only time I project my voice for anything. Those who know me will know how quiet my talking voice is. So, when I sing, it is a release in every sense of the word – both literally and figuratively. The words that I sing go beyond just words. They carry a lot of the things I wouldn’t dare say in regular conversation.
I grew up around a lot of music. My mum collected CDs while my older brother was a trained singer. So, one day, I just thought, why not give it a try? And well, the rest is history.
Please tell us a little bit about your singing career. How and why did it start?
It truly began when I moved back to Thailand for college back in 2014. I crossed paths with a local label called Rats Records. They were interested in making music with me, and yet again, I thought, why not give it a try? I’ve been with the label ever since, making song after song.
Please tell us a little about your role as a songwriter.
When it comes to songwriting, I work rather unconventionally. Unconventional in the sense that I don’t really follow a set schedule or have a proven method. I prefer working very late at night and ideas tend to surge in suddenly. Other times, I feel like I’m always thinking about a dozen things all at once.
If you were not an artist, what would you be?
A student pursuing a Master’s degree in psychology or a creative copywriter at an agency.
Name the last TV show you binge-watched.
What is a character you would like to play from a movie?
Any character from a Wes Anderson film. My OCD brain would love to exist in perfect symmetry and to be dressed tastefully to complement my surrounding environments’ colour palette.
If you could only choose one song to play every time you walked into a room for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Lady by Modjo. The riff still gets me every time.
What is an Instagram account you are currently obsessed with?
What are you currently reading?
The official screenplay of Little Miss Sunshine, the movie.
If you were to write an autobiography, what would the title be?
‘Lanky Limbed Lyricist: The Origin Story’
What is your catchphrase or your life motto?
What’s a wardrobe staple everyone should own?
Nice and comfortable socks. Just enough to go along with any outfit you’re feeling on that day.
Name 3 essential items you like to always carry in your bag.
Alcohol spray, headphones, and handkerchief.
What is your favourite spot in Bangkok?
Bang-Rak district or Bang Sue Grand Station.
What do you think is the best thing about Bangkok?
The food. Definitely the food. Not only the abundance of it all but also the diversity and price range. For someone who grew up abroad where the closest food place was a 20-minute walk, to be able to walk less than 100 metres to a 7-Eleven is surreal.
Lastly, what advice do you have for aspiring artists?
Ignore the noise and remain patient. Create for the sake of creating, not for the expected outcome. Only then will you know if you truly love what you’re doing. The rest will play itself out.